Blue Gum Montessori Preschool acknowledges Aboriginal people as the First Peoples of Australia, who in our area are the Darug and Gundungurra people. We thank Elders and communities for sharing their land and knowledge with Blue Gum Montessori. Our preschool sits on Darug land. We are grateful to our indigenous partners NGROO and our local Aboriginal mentors for their support and guidance in ensuring that Blue Gum embeds authentic & informed Aboriginal perspectives and learning in our daily curriculum.
Blue Gum Montessori Preschool has been providing outstanding early childhood education to children and families of the Blue Mountains for over 40 years. Blue Gum is a not-for-profit community-based preschool.
Set in a quiet tree-lined street opposite the local primary school, the Montessori method and philosophy of early childhood education is imparted in a contemporary, caring and warm manner in an environment designed to meet the needs of young children.
Blue Gum Montessori is a place where children thrive in an atmosphere of respect, collaboration and active hands on learning. We are a small boutique preschool that offers children and families a gentle, responsive and considered approach to early years learning. We strive to foster authentic and deeply respectful relationships with children and families.
There is a saying “that it takes a village to raise a child”. As a high quality preschool and community hub we have been supporting local families for over 40 years, and see ourselves as the modern ‘village’. Blue Gum is a place where community connections are established, nourished and live on into home-life and the broader community.
Montessori Activities and Our Nature-Play Program
The Montessori activities are designed to help the children develop independence, positive self-esteem, respect for the self and the environment, a love of learning and a readiness for primary school. Our nature-play outdoor environment and program provides for open-ended creative play experiences and discovery-based learning outdoors.
Peace Education at its Best
The Montessori philosophy has a focus on peace education. Peace education practices are integral to all learning experiences at Blue Gum. The children are actively supported through the Montessori curriculum in developing self-help, social and self-regulation skills that enable them to interact respectfully, inclusively and collaboratively with others. To help foster inner calm and harmony the children are taught yoga and relaxation through play-based experiences.
Our Inspiring Music Program
Daily music learning experiences are offered to the children. Our music curriculum introduces children to tuned instruments, percussive instruments, pitch & tonal learning, singing and movement. Many of our creative educators play their own acoustic instruments and the richness of our music curriculum sees young children develop a love of musical expression.
Our Stimulating Nature-Play Outdoor Environment and Program
We believe that children need to spend quality time outdoors in nature. Our nature-playground provides the children with a beautiful natural environment where they are able to play, explore and discover in a self-directing and open-ended way. Our nature-playground includes a long winding dry creek-bed with a wooden bridge and row boat, a sculpted sandstone water play area, mud kitchens, worm farm, compost bin, food gardens, a real climbing wall to traverse, a huge sandstone edged sand-play area, a naturally textured bike path, a tee-pee and conversation area made of log-seats, sandstone boulders for rock hopping, log round stepping-stones, cubby house, sensory pathways, open grassy areas and lots of loose materials to play and create with.
Our Stimulating Discovery-Based Indoor Environment
Our indoor classroom offers children different learning spaces where they are able to work and play in a self-directing way. Montessori teachers and educators collaborate with children to extend their learning experiences and to offer further facilitated enrichment with the Montessori and nature-play curriculum materials. The different areas of our classroom include; a library, art studio, practical life area, engineering and constructive discovery area, music curriculum area, sensorial area, language area, mathematics area, nature discovery areas, geography and multicultural studies, science and cultural arts area.
Our art studio space is equipped with a vast array of materials that provide for creative expression. Only the best quality drawing and painting materials are used. The children can engage with activities such as modelling with bees wax or clay, different types of painting experiences, collage/mixed-media, weaving, sewing, drawing with beautiful Lyra pencils or bees-wax crayons, wool & textile crafts such as pom-pom making, and even making your own paints by grinding ochre rocks collected from the local area. We look at the artwork of famous and local artists, fine tuning our observational skills, developing an appreciation of the work and gaining inspiration for our own creative expression.
The ‘real-work’ of a Child’s Play
At Montessori preschool instead of playing in the ‘home-corner’ with pretend sinks, washing tubs and food preparation, the children engage in a self-directing manner with real experiences. For example: squeezing an orange to make their own juice then really washing up; they work with real tools, kitchen utensils; crockery; they build with wooden blocks to build miniature but ‘real’ self- supporting ‘Roman Arch’ and they take care of the indoor plants by watering and trimming off dead leaves as needed. The children share a collective ownership of the classroom and outdoor environment as their ‘own space’ and are therefore intrinsically motivated to care for the environment.
Meeting the Child’s Developmental Needs
Children derive a great deal of satisfaction from participating in this ‘real’ work, which they view as ‘play’. Through engagement of the child’s ‘will’ in this self-directed and purposeful way the children develop independence- becoming more capable, less dependent and less frustrated by situations. This heightened sense of purpose leads to greater autonomy and an attitude in the child of “I am capable and I can help myself”. This independence and sense of self-agency is exactly what the young child is striving for in their physical, cognitive, social, emotional, language and spiritual development. Montessori educators are experts in providing for children’s emerging and growing developmental needs.
Highly Educated Experts in their Field
Our core educators have a long-standing association with the ‘Montessori method’ and with Blue Gum Montessori Preschool. Our Montessori teachers and guides hold university degrees and nationally required early childhood qualifications along with additional Montessori Early Years Diplomas. Educators in our team have additional specialised qualifications and experience in additional needs, pastoral care, nature & outdoor education, music, physical education, children’s yoga, mindfulness, educational philosophies and art education.
The preschool is assessed and rated by the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) and regulated by the Department of Education and Communities, through the Early Childhood Education and Care Directorate. We are members of Montessori Australia (MAF), Early Childhood Australia (ECA) and the Early Childhood Environmental Network (ECEEN).
Arranging a visit
Our passionate educators are always happy to receive your inquiry and look forward to showing you around our inspiring Montessori nature-play preschool. Please contact us to request an information package or to arrange a visit.
Operating Days, Hours & ages of our children
Blue Gum offers a’ core hours’ Montessori Nature-play Preschool program between the hours of 9am and 3pm, Monday to Friday during school terms. In addition to this an extended hours program known as the ‘Geebungs’ is offered from 3 pm – 4.20 pm Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday to eligible children. Children are able to attend 2 or 3 days per week. A limited number of 1-day places are available on a Wednesday for 2 ½ to 3 year old children transitioning into preschool. One day attendance of these younger children provides a gentle introduction to preschool and can later be extended upon subject to availability of places.